Just so that nobody at Epson has any manoeuvring room on this issue, we can say for the record that we really tried everything to make the TW1000's pictures better; the auto iris, the lamp output levels, the picture presets, the individual contrast and brightness settings, the gamma controls, the skin tone levels… Seriously, not a single stone was left unturned in our quest to make the TW1000's pictures more likeable. After all, nobody could have been keener to like a full HD projector costing just £1800 than us.
But in the end we had no alternative but to throw our arms up and admit defeat. The bottom line is that the TW1000's pictures just don't have enough black level to be convincing, and there's not a thing you can do about it.
This is all the more demoralising because in a few other key ways the TW1000 is rather good. For instance, there's absolutely no trace of any motion artefacting or blurring, giving even full-tilt action scenes like the battle with the Immortals in the HD DVD of 300 a sense of smooth, crisp purity that's second to none.
The full HD resolution also means there's no ‘screen door' effect, whereby the LCD pixel structure can be seen in the picture, plus there's no problem with the flickering colour stripes in your peripheral vision that can trouble many affordable DLP projectors (the so-called ‘rainbow' effect).
LCD pictures sometimes look a little gritty and over-sharp around contours, but here too the TW1000 does well, with a smooth, polished, uniform and impressively noiseless presentation, at least where HD footage is concerned.
Although we have seen sharper LCD pictures, there's enough subtlety in textures and colour blends to confirm that this is definitely a full HD rather than a mere HD Ready projector.
The final string to the TW1000's bow is that it runs impressively quietly, at least with the low lamp output option selected.
On paper, Epson has put together a fearsome proposition in the EMP-TW1000. But we're sad to say that some pretty fundamental problems, especially in the black level department, mean that it doesn't even get close to delivering on its apparent potential.